These easy, delicious, bite sized raspberry shortbread thumbprint cookies are a must have recipe for your Christmas baking list this year.
So decorating the tree didn’t happen on Sunday like I said it would. The tree is up… and I did bake some Christmas cookies… but I still lacked the desire to decorate. I swear it’s happening to today, though. It is. It’s been snowing everyday since Saturday and with each passing day, it really has felt like Christmas is soso close. In fact, I’m going away this Friday with my mom and sisters to do all of our Christmas shopping in one fun weekend away at the Niagra outlets. Really we’re going for my mom and I’s birthday which happens to fall on the same day… but we’re going to get in some serious Christmas shopping while we’re there.
It’s only a couple of hours drive to Niagra from where we live but we’re the kind of people that take snacks everywhere. Like, Mark and I had a 2 hour drive to a family get together a few weeks ago and we brought an entire container of my homemade digestive biscuits for car snacks because apparently we can’t go even 2 hours without snacks. So I’m trying to decide what to make/bring for the car. Obviously these raspberry shortbread thumbprint cookies will be joining us. They’re so perfectly small and bite sized that you can totally get away with eating more than one kind of cookie or treat in a short span of time. Ya know, like how you want to take 5 different things off a dessert tray?
I think Christmas time might be the only time we actually make tiny desserts. Since it’s also the only time of year there’s a serious spread of like, 10 different desserts that we all want to eat all at the same time, we kind of have to make everything small.
When it comes to cookies, shortbread has always been and always will be my favorite so it’s the kinds that are based off of shortbread that will always steal the show for me. I think it’s the amount of butter and lack of excess sugar in them that let’s the flavor of the butter completely shine that does it for me. I mentioned more than once how much I love butter (who doesn’t?) and the fact that we go through approximately 1-2 pounds a week… depending on what I’m cooking/baking that week and I most definitely don’t complain about it. It isn’t uncommon for there to be 3 different kinds of butter in my fridge at any given time for different purposes and I kind of love it.
These raspberry shortbread thumbprint cookies definitely let the butter shine with a completely unapologetic amount of butter, just a small amount of sugar, some flour to hold it all together and some toasty pecans on the outside to lend some crunch and a much loved nuttiness. As with my empire cookies, the raspberry jam and almond extract compliment each other perfectly taking these cookies to a whole new level. While the flavors are all similar between the two cookies, they do taste very different so I do still require both to be present on my Christmas cookie tray. It’s necessary.
These thumbprints DO require chilling unlike the empire which do not but I promise it’s worth the wait. Without chilling they WILL spread too much and that’s not at all what you want with thumbprint cookies so please, don’t skip it. Make the dough ahead of time and either wait 3 hours and then bake them or keep it in the fridge for a few days and pull it out when you need it. In my opinion, they only stay fresh for 3 days after being baked so if you aren’t going to eat them within that period of time, you’ll want to place them in a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer for later eating. They’ll last in there for up to 3 months!
Happy baking friends and, for my American readers, have an amazing Thanksgiving on Thursday! If you’re scrambling looking for last minute Turkey Day recipes, you can check out my apple cider butternut squash mac and cheese, apple mushroom and sausage stuffed acorn squash, orange cranberry scones, butternut squash coffee cake , cranberry almond cheesecake bars and thanksgiving turkey stuffing pasta.
For your heaps of leftover turkey, you’re definitely going to want to make my leftover turkey broccoli soup with stuffing croutons!
- 1 cup softened butter
- ⅔ cup unrefined cane sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
- ⅓-1/2 cup raspberry jam
- ½ cup pecans, chopped small
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy.
- Add almond extract, scraping the bowl if necessary and beat well.
- Add flour and mix until just combined. cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop about 1½ TBSP of dough to make 28 balls. Roll each ball in the pecans and place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Press your thumb in the middle of each ball to create a hole for the jam. If the sides crack, just smooth them/press the cracks together to smooth them out. It isn't a big deal.
- Fill each hole with a small amount of raspberry jam.
- Place the first baking pan on the center rack of your oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are light brown. Remove from the oven and repeat with the second tray. Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheets on a wire rack.
- Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days or in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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